Thursday, December 15, 2005

Radical Militant Librarian :

Show your pride in your profession and the way we are standing up for reader's rights! The phrase 'radical militant librarian' comes from an FBI memo about the USA Patriot Act..."

Well, we do...

In spite of name-calling...

Profits from the sale of these items will go to the Mountain Plains Library Association Leadership Institute, held annually at Ghost Ranch, NM. Thanks, Janet!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

ACLU makes a point in a new way...AdCritic Interactive

Ordering Pizza in 2020...

and you thought it was bad when it was "big brother" {government}who was going to be watching.

What about when it's "big business"?

Thanks for this link, Jo. I'll have double cheese with that....

Machiavelli and Leadership: Is it Applicable in Libraries?

This think piece perticularly highlights libraries and Machiavelli.

Thanks, Penny, for the link.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Famous Blogger

Coleen hits the big time with her library blog, and Dewey is jealous. "Unshelved" gets it right again!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Can you stand a little Christmas?

From the state library of Kansas:

It's 70 degrees here in Topeka and not a snow flake, reindeer or pilgrim in sight….

But, no matter the weater, the information elves in the Reference Division of the State Library have been hard at work today and are sending out a small gift to the Kansas library community.

We've set up a small webliography for the holiday season ahead at:

If you have addtions to make to this webliography that might be of help to other librarians answering those tough holiday questions send them my way for consideration at:

Bill Sowers -- Cataloging/Kansas Publications
State Library of Kansas

PS. I like the postcards from the Historical Society!


Friday, November 04, 2005

Online "Reader's Advisory"

Reader's Advisory is a service some libraries offer: if you want to read a book that offers something of the same style or tone of a favorite author, just ask the librarian.

This online version offers a mapping of the world of authors, demonstrating how close they are to each other. I must confess that I entered Tolkien, and Terry Pratchett is a resulting close read, so that was correct. But I've read a lot less Stephen King than the map would suggest.

Try it at And then look to the home page for similar mapping/excursion into the world of movies and of music.

Thanks for the link, Rachel!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Test Preparation

Hey, if you are planning on taking one of these tests soon, check out our online prep tests... you can practice and see your sample results immediately. Go to our online databases to get to this.

Josie just told me that she didn't know we had this resource. Sometimes it's hard to get the word out. Hope this helps.

Online Test and Course Resources


Friday, October 07, 2005

Spammers can't get in...

Well, not anymore. Turns out that they've been posting lately and I've been getting annoyed...

I've just turned on "Word Verification" -- a little software trick where a word has to be typed in and sent back to for comfirmation that a person, not a computer, is reading and posting to the blog. A strange typeface is used - you'll have to take a moment to type it in.

But I don't get many comments from you dear readers... blog readers... bleaders, suggests one blogger. Really.

So send me some. Better than the spam. And thanks.



Tuesday, October 04, 2005

NetLibrary e-book of the month

October eBook of the Month

The Sacred Neuron: Extraordinary New Discoveries Linking Science and Religion

Why do we think that some things are beautiful, and others ugly? Why do we think that some things are good, and others evil? Why do we think that some things are true, and others false? These are questions that have puzzled thinkers for millennia. In the past they have been answered by separating our emotional from our rational responses. But recent scientific research suggests that the questions now deserve very different answers.

In his fascinating and original new book, John Bowker shows from this research that reason and emotion work much more closely together in forming human opinions and judgments than has previously been supposed. His argument that faith and belief can be rooted in reason has stunning implications for the increasingly dangerous relationship between different religions and cultures, and also for our understanding of the meaning of 'God'.

Netlibrary e-books are available to Butler library users. Contact us for more information.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

New Films in our collection

Butler Students, Staff, and Faculty:

These new titles are available through our private consortium with the South East Kansas Academic Librarians Council. They're housed at Allen County Community College, so please give us a couple of days to retrieve them for you:

ART DECO. 2001. DVD. 29 min.
This program presents the lively history of the Art Deco style. With no funder, philosophy, or manifesto, its popularity has endured - and from the Coca Cola bottle to the London Underground's typeface, its legacy is still visible today.
SEK 709.040 Ar75 2001

Provides a comprehensive, businesslike approach to building a successful, repeatable audition process. Host William Anton discusses developing a positive and consistent auditioning process, recognizing uncontrollable components, and taking charge of all elements that can be controlled. Reviews material selection, pre-audition skills and strategies, and the audition event. Critiques 2 auditions.
SEK 792.028 Au25 1989

Specialists in the field of psychopathy, forensic psychiatry, and behavior neuroscience analyze the difference between psychopathic killers and psychotic killers. They consider if neurological and physiological abnormalities in the brain account for psychopathetic behavior.
SEK 364.019 M379 2003

This behind-the-scenes look at IT in action showcases three exciting e-commerce initiatives. By analyzing the growth, revenue, and future of MP3's Web site, visiting Ford's online "showroom", and showcasing the customer benefits of Coronet--Fashion at Work's online planning system, this program presents compelling case studies of the Internet's use to capture and exploit new markets.
SEK 658.0522 Ec73 2004

EMERGING VIRUSES. 2004. DVD. 50 min.
Scientists have identified over 200 viruses, and an estimated 1,000 more may lurk undiscovered throughout the world. This program examines current scientific research on emerging viruses. Live-action microscopy shows the impact of the HIV virus on the human immune system. Sophisticated animation depicting viral life cycles reinforces the concept that the best defense against dangerous viruses may well be a more complete understanding of how they work.
SEK 576.64 Em32 2004

Deconstructs the emotional effects evoked by music and other sounds; experiments show that our sense of hearing is constantly alert even while asleep; explains why deep voices are attractive to the opposite sex. Shows that humans have certain automatic responses to rhythmic sounds because many of our basic body processes work to a beat.
SEK 573.89 H351 2005

This program traces the course of technological innovations leading up to today's computers, from Charles Babbage and his analytical engine of the 1860's to the latest laptops.
SEK 004.09 H629 2004

Presents an examination of the life and works of Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, whose career spanned over 60 years. It features extensive film clips, interviews, commentary, and previously unavailable materials, including outtakes, filmed auditions, and Hitchcock's own home movies.
SEK 791.43023 H631 2004

LEARN CHEMISTRY I. 2004. DVD. 78 min.
Covers the basics of chemistry such as: states of matter, physical properties of matter, chemical properties of matter, atoms, compounds, the periodic table and much more.
SEK 540 L479 2004

THE MAGIC OF CELLS. 2004. DVD. 20 min.
Discover the magic of cells. Using live action video and sensational computer animation, this video introduces the viewer to the amazing world of the cell.
SEK 571.6 M272 2004

MEN: THE KILLER SEX. 2002. DVD. 50 min.
This program discusses the biochemistry of why men kill, as well as protocols such as chemical and physical castration. The cases of Jason Harper and Dion Sanders are explored.
SEK 364.019 M52 2002.

In this program Bill Gates, Paul [i.e. Steve] Ballmer and other Microsoft executives square off against their opponents including Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale and Asst. Attorney General Joel Klein to discuss the allegations that Microsoft has made predatory use of its monopoly power to stifle its competition. Microsoft's integration of it's Web browser, Internet Explorer, into Window's core code, makes the choice of competitive programs difficult. There is also a growing concern that by manufacturing Internet Explorer with pre-selected Microsoft-centric hyperlinks, Microsoft will become the de facto keeper of the gateway to cyberspace.
SEK 338.47 M583 2003

Drawing from an array of examples, this program uses graphics and metaphors to bring home the power of a set of chemical instructions called genes.
SEK 616.042 T413 2002

It was the simplest idea but one with enormous potential. If a gene is defective in the human body, just replace it with one that works properly. Gene therapy would mean that genetic disorders would become a thing of the past. Cancer would be cured, as would cystic fibrosis and hundreds of other genetic illnesses. Scientists were justifiably excited about the idea but, this enthusiasm that would end up costing one young man his life
SEK 616.042 T73 2005

Argues that the human visual system is skillful at some things, but that we miss a lot of what is going on around us. Discussion focuses on the brain's processing of images, as well as the coordination of our sense of vision with our bodies.
SEK 573.88 V825 2005

If you have other films to suggest to the consortium, we meet monthly through the school year to select titles, and would be happy to consider yours. Please let me know.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Congratulations - Library Open House Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the door prizes at the library open house at the L.W. Nixon Library of Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, last week!


Chris Allen
Briony Barnes
Emily Morgan
Jaime Grits
Melissa Killough
Bill Rinkenbaugh
Jay Lindal
Tanya Hoag
dona Larimer
Emily Martin
Lou Clennan
Marilyn Mahan
Teresa Baumgartner

Butler Pom Poms
R.E. Williams

InaYasha T-shirt
Daniel Pewewardy

Butler Sweatshirt
Don Rommelfanger

Ceramic Jug
Brianna Holloway

IPOD Shuffle (for those who took the tour)
Jerry Clothier

Please pick up your gifts or contact the library for delivery this week (316) 322-3234.

We thank all of you who attended the event, with a
special thanks for those who helped us out in any way.

Micaela Ayers, Director of Library Services

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Invitation to a party...

You’re invited! We're hosting an Open House at the L.W. Nixon Library to celebrate our renovated and redesigned college library at Butler Community College.

Come and go from 8 am - 9 pm Tuesday and Wednesday, September 13th and 14th, 2005

Refreshments at all times


Prizes, food, music, art, books and authors! Life doesn't get any
better than this - unless it's all together in one place. That will
happen in the L.W. Nixon Library during our Open House, celebrating the new school year and recognizing the work done by the staff to upgrade the facility this past year. Since January, we have re-carpeted, painted, and reorganized the library, and re-shelved thousands of books and materials. You are invited!

We've planned two days of events Tuesday, September 13,
and Wednesday, September 14, 2005, so you can come when you can, leave when you must. Events each day include hourly tours; musical performances by faculty and friends; and 7 pm showings of movie selections from the two library DVD collections of musicals, and of early world cinema (funded from a 2005 ILDP grant) . On display will be new books and photographs of the library's changing style during its history in 1928, 1941 and 1986. Enjoy refreshments, a noontime demonstration of the library databases, and a drawing for prizes for those who take a library tour.

Dr. Jackie Vietti, President of Butler, and Micaela Ayers, Directory of
Library Services, will preside over the dedication of the renovated and redesigned facility at 4 pm Tuesday, September 13. Former director, Brian Beattie, and Dean of Academic support services, Kaye Meyers, will both speak.

At 10 am Tuesday, we will dedicate new art for the folk arts collection. At 4 pm Wednesday, September 14, an Authors' Forum will occur.

New Art Donated

The collection is growing! The Folk Arts collection of the L.W. Nixon
Library, Butler Community College, is pleased to announce the donation of 5 paintings by Kansas folk-artist Warren "Homer" Chambers. Join the campus and library in a musical reception and celebration of the gift at 10 am, September 14, 2005.

The collection is a memorial to Marianne Koke, former Butler
instructor, who with her husband Don, owned and performed in the Iron Horse Concert Hall in The Music Emporium. Marianne died in 1996. Don Koke and musical colleague Teresa Bachman will perform folk art music at the reception.

Author's Forum

What does it feel like to get your name in print? How do you find a
publisher? What's the future of books, magazines, and libraries? Join poet John Jenkinson, scientist Bill Langley, and author Peter De
Vries for an Authors' Forum and book signing 4 pm, September 14, to explore publishing and printing.

All three of the authors at the forum are Butler faculty. Dr. John Jenkinson, a Butler English teacher, is a prize winning poet whose major volume of poetry is being published this fall. Dr. Bill Langley is a biology teacher at Butler with publications in the scientific world. Longtime lover of mythology and fantasy fiction, Peter DeVries writes daily and teaches English courses for high school and Butler college students at Andover. He recently published "Wistrix Donn" and is currently at work on a fantasy novel with the working title "Blood of Gods."


4 pm Tuesday, Dedication and Reception

10 am Wednesday, Don Koke & Teresa Backman, perform Live folk music celebrating books, art and life

4pm Wednesday, Authors’ Forum

7pm Tuesday and Wednesday: Film selections


Library is on the Butler Community College Campus, 901 S. Haverhill Road in El Dorado. Park at the main parking lot on the east side of campus, and walk in past the flag pole. The library is on the second floor Elevator is available at the rear of the building.

For more information, contact me. See you soon!


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Mac envy

I don't know what I did to deserve this.

The new Mac mini ad came to me via email today.

"Live the digital life in stylish simplicity. Just 6.5 inches square and 2 inches tall, Mac mini provides what you need to have more fun with your music, photos and movies — right out of the box. Mac mini now boasts 512MB memory as well as models with built-in wireless and SuperDrive. The most affordable Mac ever still starts at $499."

They say. I drool.

Oh, well, technology is ever changing, ever the same. Always something better coming along.

Have a good school year, everyone. If you buy one of these, let me know how you like it.

Still singing,


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Feel-good Librarian

From a recent post to the Feel-good Librarian comes this story...

What Books Do

Here is the text of an e reference query we received recently:

“I am not a fan of poetry - never have been, never will be. However, my 37 year old daughter has a MLS degree and is well read; she is on her deathbed with cancer. She can no longer read, but I would like to read her poetry or short stories for a few minutes each day. Can you recommend a book I might use? Thanks.”

Oh. Oh, dear.

I don’t know about you, but I felt inadequate to answer this question alone. Choosing words for someone else to go out of the world on seems a serious assignment to me, especially if you don’t know them. I asked my coworkers for their recommendations, then I called the man, since he had included his phone number.

“Sir? This is the public library calling. You emailed us for recommendations about what to read to your daughter.”

“Oh, yes,” he said. “I’m glad for your help. It’s….difficult to think at a time like this, and our tastes are so different.”

“I am so sorry, sir. Our staff who have been coming up with suggestions all have you and your daughter in our thoughts.”

“Thank you. I….appreciate that.” He cleared his throat.

I asked if his daughter liked nature (thinking Robert Frost, Walt Whitman), plots about people, maybe with a twist? (O.Henry), or animals (James Herriot).

“My daughter really loves animals,” he said. “I think she would enjoy stories with animals, as long as they are short.”

Aha. “James Herriot’s stories are about a country veterinarian in England. They are short and humorous, and really show the animals’ personalities, as well as their owners.”

He sounded relieved. “Oh, thank you, so much. That sounds like something she would really enjoy. It will be a pleasure to read them to her.”

I told him I’d gather the titles for him and put them at the checkout desk so he could pick them up when it was convenient for him.

“I’m sure I’ll be down tomorrow during my lunch hour. I read to her in the evenings, after work.”

The thought was wrenching for me, just as an observer. To work all day, knowing you would be going to your daughter’s bedside as she faded from life….



Deep breath. “Bless you, sir.”

He hesitated. “Thank you,” he whispered.

Why books, why read? Because books are a refuge when life hurts. They make us laugh, they make us cry, they give us a break from the pain and they give us hope.

Even on our deathbeds.

Perhaps, especially there.

August 3, 2005

Whew. and amen.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Faculty and the New York Times

This just in from an e-mail from The League for Innovation:

The League for Innovation has recently partnered with The New York Times to offer League Alliance Members an opportunity to enhance curriculum and improve teaching and learning in the classroom.

The New York Times Is a Valuable Curriculum Enhancement

The New York Times has been valued by faculty for more than 70 years. Faculty recognize The New York Times as a valuable addition that supports course curriculum. Described as a “living textbook, The Times serves the critical role of helping connect classroom concept to everyday life. Once students understand the everyday relevance of their studies, it adds a new dimension to the overall learning experience. In addition, a daily habit of reading The Times supports critical thinking and good citizenship. There are even some faculty who have found The New York Times to be comprehensive enough to serve as the sole textbook for their course!

In addition to the daily newspaper, The New York Times college website,, provides additional resources to enhance curriculum. Faculty can find teaching strategies and methodologies, as well as discipline-specific curriculum resources to help them successfully incorporate The Times into the curriculum. The Times is used by faculty across the curriculum, including English, Political Science, Business, History, Communications, First Year Seminar and Honors Courses, just to name a few.

The New York Times Provides Unique Resources for Faculty and Students

There are thousands of faculty representing various academic disciplines that have enhanced their course by incorporating The New York Times into their curriculum. At The Times college website,, faculty can take advantage of the many available resources designed to help them make effective use of the Times. For example, faculty can sign up to receive daily email alerts from the unique New York Times taxonomy search option, allowing them to select from 180 different academic subjects. When an article relevant to a selected topic appears in the newspaper, an email alert will be sent linking to that article.

In addition, links to other articles related to the selected topic may be provided. In many instances these links might normally require a fee to access from The Times archives but will be available at no charge for faculty. This unique program allows faculty to be prepared to reference relevant news stories in class.

The Times invites faculty to explore the teaching strategies, methodologies, projects and perspectives from colleagues nationwide that are posted on the site. Also available is The Times “Newsroom Navigator,” where students and faculty can research and access information on the internet, like The Times journalists do. All of this is available for free to support the use of The New York Times across the curriculum.

For more information and any costs, contact me and I'll forward the offer. --Micaela

Monday, August 15, 2005

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

BOOKS2EAT the International Edible Book Festival

Ok, it's not April 1st, but this is about books.... edible books. Thank you Neil Gaiman, for the link. (Oh, and his new book "Anansi Boys" is something to look forward to when it gets published later this year.)

BOOKS2EAT the International Edible Book Festival

What is Books2Eat?
The International Edible Book Festival is a yearly event that takes place on April 1 throughout the world. This event unites bibliophiles, book artists and food lovers to celebrate the ingestion of culture and its fulfilling nourishment. Participants create edible books that are exhibited, documented then consumed.

To continue the popular culture thing I'm apparently stuck on today, this links to an excellent J.K. Rowling interview, done shortly after the release of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." Don't read it if you haven't read the book, for there are 'spoilers' in it. Do read it if you enjoy the mystery and challenge the series is bringing to readers of all ages.

(who is R.A. B.?!)


Friday, July 22, 2005

Dracula Blogged

Bryan Alexander, a professor of English literature at the Center for Educational Technology who specializes in the "transformative impact of digital technologies in the liberal arts world," is serializing Bram Stoker's Dracula as a blog. Individual pieces of the novel appear on the calendar dates indicated in the text, starting with Jonathan Harker's May 3rd Bistriz journal entry, and finishing up with November 6 and the final Note.

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2005.

As my college-aged daughter says, "cool!"

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A Question of Copyright...

I got this email this morning, and asked Judy our copyright expert to answer it. It seems good to highlight it here...

The instructors in our department have an on-going discussion (debate?) about legal use of videos in our classrooms. Is there a Government or Library website, or do you have postings that can give the "final word" here? Areas include:
1. Videos we own
2. Material taped off the T.V.
3. Items rented or borrowed from:
a. commercial vendors
b. libraries

Also, does length matter, i.e., may short portions of a video be shown in the same way short sections of a book may be copied?

Any help you can give would be most appreciated.

Thank you,
-- --
Adjunct Instructor


Here is the answer to your video question. I am quoting from Statute
110(1) Classroom Performances & Displays of the Copyright Act.

"performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the
course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit institution,
in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless in the
case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance, or
the display of individual images, is given by means of a copy that was
not lawfully made under this title, and that the person responsible for
the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made;"

In a nutshell, you can show the full video in a classroom as long as it
is a legal copy.

It is on page 24 of the document.

If you have any question, just email me at
Micaela calls me a copyright expert. I don't claim to be an expert, but
I do have a growing understanding of copyright law.

Judy Bastin

Judy Bastin
Reference Librarian
L.W. Nixon Library
Butler County Community College
901 S. Haverhill Rd
El Dorado, KS 67042

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - How does this club work? - How does this club work?

...What is PaperBackSwap? We are a group of real people who have formed a Club to swap paperback books with each other. No gimmicks. No spam. No advertising. No kidding. We are not a large corporation trying to sell you something. Just a group of real folks who wanted a way of trading paperbacks with each other through the U.S. mail. Please read the testimonials and you will understand that this book club is for real.

When another member requests one of your books, you mail it to them. Yes, you pay for the postage. But then another member returns the favor when you request a book from them and they mail it to you. And that way the books are always free because we are all trading books with club members!

I just traded in a dozen and a half paperbacks - all fantasy and science fiction, which are pretty desirable, to the local used book dealer in Pittsburg while visiting my daughter this weekend. Stephen King, Mercedes Lackey, Piers Anthony... all in good condition, some very new. I received $6.54 for them all. Not quite enought to buy a single paperback!

I'm going to try this swap. I'll report back here as I go along. Thanks for the link, Sonja!


ALA | Guidelines for University Library Services to Undergraduate Students - DRAFT

ALA | Guidelines for University Library Services to Undergraduate Students - DRAFT

Any comments?

Other than the fact these are not quantitative and do apply to research university libraries, the questions appear to be applicable as I am to assess the library at Butler Community College.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Google Video Search

Google Video Search

For those of you who need to view video on computer - which I can't stand, personnally, but hey, whatever meets your needs - google has this search system.

Here's what google blogs about it:

Thanks for playing
7/13/2005 03:18:00 PM

Posted by Matthew Vosburgh, Google Video Software Engineer

Google Video searches a rapidly growing database of network TV shows and uploaded material. We show text and picture info for everything, which is great when you want to know how often they mention cereal or Superman on Seinfeld, for instance. For some material, you can also play the actual video. That's how I know that this guy Eric has a cool cat.

Because lots of people have asked for a way to just find the results with playable video, I've added two radio buttons below the search box on Google Video. To get the stuff you can actually play, click on "playable video" before you search.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005 Books: The Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection Books: The Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection

It's 1082 titles this year. Amazon lets one browse the authors and titles.
I haven't read all that many of them, nor am I likely to. The Dostoevsky, the Dickens, the Twain, yes. But Trollope? Although The Prime Minister sounds very timely.

My main worry is that this is a paperback collection. Putting out $7,989.99, paying for shipping, shelving the lot... well, I'd rather buy my classics in an old leather-bound edition, slightly foxed, from a Bryn Mawr bookstore in Albany, NY, or a yard sale or find it outside one of the wonderful speciality bookstores upstairs in that set of San Francisco shops. But that's just me.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

July Book of the Month

July eBook of the Month

National Pastime: How Americans Play Baseball and the Rest of the World Plays Soccer

When British soldiers in Afghanistan and Southern Iraq wanted to befriend the locals, they played a soccer match. On Christmas Day, 1914, British and German soldiers in the First World War did the same thing. For nearly 100 years soccer has united a divided world with only one notable exception—the United States.
Baseball is America's game, a national obsession that remains largely North American. Soccer is the world's game, a sport over which no nation can claim ownership. In July's eBook of the Month, authors Stefan Szymanski and Andrew Zimbalist offer the first in-depth, cross-cultural comparison of these two great sporting passions and show how much the traditions of each game reveal about the societies and economies that spawned them. By tracing the evolution of both sports, Szymanski and Zimbalist identify some of the problems each faces, and how each sport can look to the other for solutions.

Designed to increase awareness of online resources and highlight the value of your eBook collection, July's eBook of the Month is provided through the generous support of Brookings Institution Press. Don't miss this engaging and entertaining look at the world of sports business.

Check it out through the L.W.Nixon Library e-book collection!

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Shifted Librarian at conference

This gal is grand. She writes enough content to keep all libraries on their toes. And since she's at the "Gaming, Learning and Culture" Conference in Madison, WI this week, she's blogging her session notes. This was fascinating.

(from the Shifted librarian blog:)

GLS02: James Paul Gee on New Paradigms for Learning

two crises that are relevant to our schools and our society

1. “the 4th grade slump” - there are certain ways you can teach young children to read, but by 4th grade they can’t read to learn so they struggle after that
2. “the college slump” – we’ve outsourced a tremendous amount of our work, every commoditized job (everything that can be standardized) because other countries are producing very smart people; so we’re left with those jobs that can’t be standardized and we hope they’ll keep doing the rest for us, but that’s not happening anymore; instead, they’re producing people for the non-commoditized work — everyone EXCEPT THE U.S.; this will be very destructive to us within 20 years; we have to be able to innovate and create, not just get a degree; that’s not enough anymore

the solution to these crises is in our face: it’s popular culture and games; this is where it’s getting solved, not in our schools

the 4th grade slump is caused by the fact that what is so hard about school is how hard the language gets; textbooks are NOT recreational reading; unless kids, starting at home, get ready for this language early, they will be lost; it’s like changing the language to Greek in mid-stream; it’s not the english you speak at home - it’s a technical language

interestingly, this language is being reflected in popular culture; eg, Yu-Gi-Oh cards (
gives kids incredibly complex culture by age 7; eg, showed a YGO card that had 3 straigtht conditional clause statements as explanations of powers
as an adult, Gee would rather take physics than figure out the YuGiOh rules! :-)
no failure rates, either – no research has found a failure for a minority group to understand this
where is the one place these cards are banned? SCHOOL

cutting edge assessment: the college slump problem

have to teach students to innovate and create; popular culture already represents a space that is solving this problem and we can learn from it

assessment is important - am I making progress, and why did I just fail? a multiple choice test is not fun and it’s useless it doesn’t tell you anything or help you figure out what you did wrong; this is a different view of assessment

“Rise of Nations” as an example - showed screenshots, especially of online competitions against others
14 pages of statistical graphs of what you did, and kids read it for pleasure!
creates a lot of multimodal skills with graphs and numeracy
informative assessment - tells you what happened; helps you form strategies by telling you where you failed; assessing to create new strategies is part of the game; gives you ideas for how to do it better; you couldn’t get a better score – but shows where you could do better, which is an ideal assessment; the biggest assessment isn’t those graphs, it’s what you did with them – did you learn from them?

what if a kid got these kinds of assessments in school for science?

afffinity groups:
1. common endeavor, not race, class, gender, or disability, is primary
2. newbies and masters share common space
3. players produce content, not just consume it
4. content organization is transformed by interactional organization
5. encourages intensive and extensive knowledge
6. encourages individual and distributed knowledge
7. encourages dispersed knowledge – everyone (the help) is there somewhere
8. uses and honors tacit knowledge
9. many different forms and routes to participation
10. different routes to status
11. leadership is porous and leaders are resources


... and there's more. Find her and her session notes at her blog this week.



A clear voice, interesting books. Thanks for the link!

Ok, now I'm wondering how many others at Butler are posting Blogs. If you are, leave a comment here!


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

So what's happening?

Ok, I've been away for a bit.

It's very quiet here at the library. We have one student using the wireless laptop, two in the computer lab, and one at the copier. And who knows how many working from our databases...

Our hours drop to 40 per week in the summer -- 8 am to 5 pm. And yet we have our full range of services, and most of our staff around to help. So it's a good time to visit.

Juli's busy cataloguing new books. I ordered quite a few before the end of the fiscal year.

Lonnie's putting the latest round of South Central Kansas collection - mostly recent fiction - up on the front shelves. It's cool to see new titles come in.

Hazel's writing Purchase Orders and doing final check on the new books. Then year-end processes with the files will consume some of her time. I'm hoping she placed the order for the new shelves that will go on the East window wall last week while I was away.

Rani, of course, is busy processing new books for the shelves. And she's worked at developing her plan for displays in the library for next year. We both realized that she has to plan for two or three places since we moved the big glass case last month and have an open set of shelves at the end of the front bookcase.

Judy is off for much of the summer; I count on her being here on Fridays. She runs the summer reading program at the public library in Rose Hill, and needs the time during the week for that. I wish you happy kids, Judy!

Ronda is off to Mexico this week! She and her hubby flew to Puebla last Saturday. I hope you're healthy and seeing lots, Ronda.

I was at Kan-ed Conference and heard Tom Peters speak (yell?) last week. The guy is passionate, if behind the times about libraries. Then the State Resource Sharing Summit, which amounted to a good brainstorming session. On Monday and Tuesday I was at a campus retreat for the Systems Councils. So I'm really just back for the first time today, and catching up on stuff. Yay!

Come on up to the library and see me sometime.

Still singing,


Sunday, June 05, 2005

�Mockingbird� author makes rare appearance - BOOKS -

�Mockingbird� author makes rare appearance - BOOKS -

"Harper Lee, who has been dodging publicity for decades since she published her only book, "To Kill a Mockingbird," made a rare step into the limelight to be honored by the Los Angeles Public Library..."

When we did our program "One Book, One Community" this spring, we read To Kill a Mockingbird. We were thrilled to have "Scout" visit El Dorado, and see her and "Jem" in Arkansas City. I know I had to check at one point to see if the author was still alive, and find out what else she had published (nothing else).

I've thought about the novel several times in the past week as I am reading The Secret Life of Bees. The protagonist is older by 5 years, and the action links more strongly to what is taking place in the United States during President Johnson's administration. Yet there is a quality to it, not just the setting, that reminds me of Lee's work.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

New to You!

New to You!
We're trying something new at the library: a blog of the new books on a monthy basis.

With the Dewey call/subject number as part of the listing, it should be pretty easy to look for your particular subject area; see the new books; call us to hold them for you, etc.

Ronda is doing the work of pulling them out of the catalog. Any suggestions?

March 2005

011.62 SIL 2004
100 best books for children. Silvey, Anita

303.482 LIP 2004
Inside the mirage : America's fragile partnernership with Saudi Arabia. Lippman, Thomas W.

303.483 CRU 2004
The power of many : how the living Web is transforming politics, business, and everyday life. Crumlish, Christian

303.625 FRI 2005
What motivates suicide bombers?

303.66 HAR 2005
The peace movement.

305.697 VER 2005
Muslims in America.

306.77 MEY
How sex changed : a history of transsexuality in the United States. Meyerowitz, Joanne J.

326.809 HOC 2005
Bury the chains : prophets and rebels in the fight to free an empire's slaves. Hochschild, Adam

342.420 WIS 2005
Though the heavens may fall : the landmark trial that led to the end of human slavery. Wise, Steven M.

345.730 NAP 2004
Constitutional chaos : what happens when the government braks its own laws. Napolitano, Andrew P.

358.309 TOR 2005
Weapons of mass destruction : opposing view points.

363.107 LEI 2004
Mad cows and mother's milk : the perils of poor risk communication. Leiss, William

363.192 COL 2005
Fast food.

365.973 PAT 2004
Imprisoning America : the social effects of mass incarceration.

501 PAN 2004
The invisible century : Einstein, Freud, and the search for hidden universes. Panek, Richard

512 HUE 2005
Precalculus demystified. Huettenmueller, Rhonda

519.2 BLU 2005
Probability demystified. Bluman, Allan G.

540.92 GOL 2005
Obsessive genius : the inner world of Marie Curie. Goldsmith, Barb

599.938 BOY 2003
How humans evolved. Boyd, Robert, Ph. D.

616.462 COR 2003
A core curriculum for diabetes education.

641.5 SMI 2004
Kitchen life : real food for real families, even yours! Smith, Art

641.5 WOL 2002
What Einstein told his cook : kitchen science explained. Wolke, Robert L.

658 DEM 2000
Out of the crisis. Deming, W. Edward

676.22 RAM 2001
The handmade paper book. Ramsay, Angela

702.81 ATK
Collage art : a step-by-step guide & showcase. Atkinson, Jennifer L.

702.81 BRA
Altered books workshop : 18 creative techniques for self-espression. Brazelton, Bev

702.81 HAR 2003
Altered books, collaborative journals, and other advetures in bookmaking. Harrison, Holly

702.812 ACK 2003
Handmade paper collage. Ackerman, Dawn M.

702.812 ROT 2001
The art of paper collage. Rothamel, Susan Pickering

709.040 TAY 2004
Collage : the making of modern art. Taylor, Brandon

709.2 STE 2004
De Kooning : an American master. Stevens, Mark

741.597 SMI 2004
Bone Smith, Jeff

745.5 TAY 2004
Altered art : techniques for creating altered books, boxes, cards & more. Taylor, Terry

745.542 BAN 2003
Urgent 2nd class : creating curious collage, dubious documents, and other art from ephemera. Bantock, Nick

780.973 OGA 2004
Music of the colonial and revolutionary era. Ogasapian, John

781.65 MOR 2004
Living with jazz. Morgenstern, Dan

782.421 DYL 2004
Chronicles. Dylan, Bob

792.809 FIS 2004
Attitude! : eight young dancers come of age at the Ailey School. Fishman, Katharine Davis

808.02 GOL 2005
The writer's book of wisdom ; 101 rules for masteing your craft. Goldsberry, Steven

811.54 JUS 2004
Collected poems. Justice, Donald

811.54 VAL 2004
Door in the mountain : new and collected poems, 1965-2003. Valentine, Jean

813.6 HOS 2003
The kite runner. Hosseini, Khaled

822.33 GRE 2004
Will in the world : how Shakespeare became Shakespeare. Greenblatt, S.

822.914 HEA 2004
The burial at Thebes : a version of Sophocle Antigone. Heaney, Seamus

884.01 CAR 2002
If not, winter : fragments of Sappho. Sappho

940.373 MUR 2005
America's entry into World War I

973.046 ROD 2004
Americano : my journey to the dream. Rodriguez, Thomas

F ELL 2003
How I fell in love with a librarian and live to tell about it. Ellis, Rhett

F FAR 2004
The Sea of Trolls. Farmer, Nancy

F HAU 2004
Godless. Hautman, Pete

F McN 2004
A son called Gabriel : a novel. McNicholl, Damian

J BRA 2004
Hepcat. Bramhall, William

J CUR 2002
I'm gonna like me : letting off a little self-esteem. Curtis, Jamie Lee

J HOP 2004
Apples to Oregon : being the (slightly) true narrative of how a brave pioneer father brought apples, peaches, pears, plum, grapes, nd cherries (and children) across the Plains. Hopkinson, Deborah

J HOP 2004
A packet of seeds. Hopkinson, Deborah


DVD 610.3 STE 2005 Stedman's medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing.
DVD 791.437 BYE 1999 Bye bye Birdie.
DVD 791.437 DAM 2004 Damn Yankees.
DVD 791.437 FID 2001 Fiddler on the roof.
DVD 791.437 JAN 2001 Jane Austen's Pride and prejudice.
DVD 791.437 WES 2003 West Side story.
DVD 791.437 WIZ 1999 The Wizard of Oz.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Whitney, the 30-second librarian

Just got this email from another Kansas librarian blogger:

For those who might be interested, I have started a new blog called the
:30 Librarian, available at It's more
personal comments than news aggregator, but since I'll be talking a lot
about library topics (as that's the kind of geek that I am), I thought
it might be of interest.

And, as I said in my own presentation at KLA, what's a blog without

Please let me know if you have comments or suggestions. For safety's
sake, I should probably point out that any opinions are my own and do
not necessarily reflect those of my institution or anyone else.



Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Google Blog: Library access

Google Blog: Library access

" becoming a reality: most academic libraries these days subscribe to electronic versions of journals that authorized patrons can read on their own computers. And today we're launching a feature in Google Scholar that lets people read their academic library's subscriptions directly from their Google Scholar search results. Students at more than 100 participating universities will see links to such library resources as electronic delivery, print catalogs, and interlibrary loan..."

Our access is through Pipeline, which is available anywhere the internet can be turned on. Still, I find multiple ways of accessing database subscriptions intriguing. And I'm investigating some "federated searching" tools which would search across all our databases and our catalog and present results on one page. And isn't that what Google does? (It just can't get into OUR databases... unless we become one of their 'participating' institutions.)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

President Kermit L. Hall's 2005 Spring Speech to Faculty

President Kermit L. Hall's 2005 Spring Speech to Faculty

At my alma mater:

"the University in the Student Opinion Survey comes out last or near last in almost every category. The one bright spot is the Library which ranks at the top in terms of service and support for our undergraduate students. "

It is a set of extraordinary places, the libraries of SUNY Albany... and they inspire me.
The New York Times ran an article on last Monday... May 9, 2005. I'd seen mapping done in a reference suite for libraries, but this is pretty as well as functional. After the subject indexing provided, the most radical change is that all the results of an internet search are placed on one page in a set of concentric, expandable circles.

Take a look, take a test search. I'll use plain old google for a quick reference, but I'm going to this from now on when I want a more comprehensive look at a subject. I'll google and grok as necessary.

Oh, and I was right: "grok" is a word coined by Robert A. Heinlein in "Stranger in a Strange Land," which I read in high school or junior high. I was attending a communicants's class at the time, and the book raised some questions in my mind that made the class much more lively!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

LexisNexis Adds New Accounting Pubs.

This is old news, but I'm cleaning off my desktop at the end of the semester, and want to get this out. LexisNexis Academic is one of our top tier databases, and it now has 17 new accounting publcations from John Wiley, all searchable from the accounting search of the business section.

The new content includes Accounting Reference Desktop, Intellectual Property Assets in Mergers & Acquisitions, Essentials of Patent, and more.

Remember to link in through your pipeline account if you are off campus!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Grant Robinson : Guess-the-google launcher

Grant Robinson : Guess-the-google launcher

Have you got a spare minute or two today?

Okay, it's not Friday yet... but this would fill a lunch hour, too. I scored 154 on my first try. What was your score?

And do you agree that librarians should have to take this as part of their training? How about other public professions?

Friday, May 06, 2005

In Kansas, Darwinism Goes on Trial Once More - New York Times

In Kansas, Darwinism Goes on Trial Once More - New York Times

A small excerpt...

TOPEKA, Kan., May 5 - Six years after Kansas ignited a national debate over the teaching of evolution, the state is poised to push through new science standards this summer requiring that Darwin's theory be challenged in the classroom.

In the first of three daylong hearings being referred to here as a direct descendant of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee, a parade of Ph.D.'s testified Thursday about the flaws they saw in mainstream science's explanation of the origins of life. It was one part biology lesson, one part political theater, and the biggest stage yet for the emerging movement known as intelligent design, which posits that life's complexity cannot be explained without a supernatural creator.

Darwin's defenders are refusing to testify at the hearings, which were called by the State Board of Education's conservative majority. But their lawyer forcefully cross-examined the other side's experts, pushing them to acknowledge that nothing in the current standards prevented discussion of challenges to evolution, and peppering them with queries both profound and personal.

"Do the standards state anywhere that science, evolution, is in any way in conflict with belief in God?" the lawyer, Pedro Irigonegaray, asked William S. Harris, a chemist who helped write the proposed changes....

To read the rest, go sign in at NYTimes... free account, and I've not had them sell my name nor email.

Kansas in the news...

Saturday, April 30, 2005

theferrett: Literary Preservation

The ferrett asks you to make a pitch for the one book you would memorize to give to all future generations... a la Fahrenheit 451. Link here: theferrett: Literary Preservation.

Respond quickly if you have a favorite book that's on the popular side!

Friday, April 22, 2005

A new blog person about to be born

Mary wrote me this morning:

Thanks for all the great information giving in response to my post asking for information about blogging. I was asked by several to post what I found out. All of the responses I received were positive. Many were kind enough to share their experiences and the links to their blogs.

It appears to take about 30 minutes of training to learn the basics and up to four hours for more refined techniques. One respondent said “Once everything is set up, blogging can be as easy as sending email. You are essentially typing and adding links to text.” All assured me that keeping up with the blog was not an overwhelming task (which was one of my concerns.)

Many suggested beginning by using “In just a few minutes (really!) and for absolutely free (really!) you can have a blog up and running on the Internet.”

I am going to try it out. I have a meeting scheduled with the IT people next week to get things moving.

Here are some links I was given that are “public” blogs. Others were also shared but were said to be “private” or I’m not sure whether they are public or private. (click on library enews).

Mary L. Hester
Director of Learning Resources
Barton County Community College Library
245 NE 30th Road
Great Bend, KS 67530

Change your thoughts and you change your world....." ~ Norman Vincent Peale ~


Mary, good luck, have fun, and may your blogs shine!


Friday, April 15, 2005

Do Libraries Still Matter?

An extraordinary article, here at the end of National Library Week. Be sure to click on all four pages of the link.

And here's another.

Along Those Lines . . .
In Praise of Library Personell
by George G. Morgan

There seems to be an observance of some sort every week throughout the
year. Many of them are, to me, yawners. However, this past week has
been one of those sparking observances at which every genealogist
should sit up and take notice. This is National Library Week and,
without all those great library personnel, we would be hard-pressed to
locate many of the resources that help advance our research.

Did you know there are more than 117,000 libraries in the United
States? In addition to public libraries in almost every community,
there are thousands of libraries in schools, colleges and universities,
hospitals, law firms, businesses, the armed forces and more! It takes a
lot of people to keep a library functioning, from the library director
and administration (and the government entities that fund them) to the
personnel who maintain the physical facilities.

My primary business is operating a seminar company whose mission is to
provide continuing education to library consortia, professional
librarians, and library staff. My work has brought me in contact with
many thousands of librarians and, in " Along Those Lines . . ." this
week, I want to let you in on what the people you see and the people in
the background in our public libraries do for us.

Reference Librarians
Some people's first thought is that all librarians do all day long is
read books and shelve them. That could not be further from the truth!
Librarians' roles have radically changed in the last 15 years. They are
no longer "just the librarians" that we grew up with; they are now
information specialists whose job is to determine what your needs are
and to try to provide you with access to the best, most appropriate
resources possible.

Reference librarians interview you, asking questions to help clarify
your informational needs, how you plan to use the materials, how
current they need to be, and whether you have a preference in terms of
the media. The media have changed over the last fifteen years and now

* an online public access catalog listing most of the library's
physical resources in the physical building and/or in the entire
library system;
* traditional resources such as books, newspapers, magazines and
journals, newsletters, and other printed materials;
* electronic resources such as CD-ROMs, videotapes, DVDs, books on
tape, music and informational CDs, eBooks from NetLibrary
(, and scanned images of rare or ephemeral resources;
* online databases you can easily search that provide information
at your fingertips, including such topics and materials as genealogy,
maps, atlases, gazetteers, dictionaries and translation dictionaries,
encyclopedias, thesauri, almanacs, Who's Who, history and geography
sources, full-text magazines and newspapers, and more resources to help
genealogists (other databases address health and wellness, medical and
pharmaceutical topics, business and finance, art, music, literature,
and much more for all levels of researchers);
* Internet access terminals open the world to literally billions of
Web pages containing information that may contain the "missing link" to
get you past that brick wall;
* microfilm and microfiche materials, microfilm machines and
printers, electronic microform reader/printer units, photocopy
machines, scanners, wireless connectivity for your laptop or other
devices, and other specialty equipment; and
* a Web site that provides access to all of most of the materials
described above, including "how-to" leaflets and subject guides,
categorized links to Web sites by category, and a plethora of library,
community, and global information.

Further, the reference librarians are professional researchers, nay
information specialists, whose responsibility it is to use their
"global library resources" to locate, access, evaluate, and put you in
contact with the best resources they can find to fulfill your
informational needs.

Circulation Desk Staff
Personnel at the circulation desk in the library aren't just there to
check the library's physical materials out and back in, and to collect
fines on overdue materials. They, too, are trained to address reference
queries from all the patrons. They have an excellent grasp of the
library's resources and have also been trained to locate information of
all sorts and provide you with access to it. While these people may be
swamped with a line of patrons waiting to be taken care of, they may
also politely refer you to another librarian at the reference desk.
They have a very tough job too!

Among the unsung heroes of libraries are those people who catalog each
incoming item and add it to the catalog. They reside in the back room
of the library and physically process each item. They locate an
existing catalog record at a central clearing house, the Online
Computer Library Center (OCLC), if there is one and download it to
their computers. They then customize it as necessary to comply with
their possibly unique cataloging scheme, and enter the record in the
online catalog. These catalog records are later uploaded to OCLC for
inclusion in an online database known as WebCat.

WebCat is used to locate which libraries have which resources. Your
library can help you make arrangements to process an Interlibrary Loan
(ILL) request, or the librarian may refer you to the closest library
with that item, especially if it is a non-circulating item, which is
what most genealogical collection materials are.

In addition, before any new item is placed on a shelf or rack in the
library, it is placed in a protective dust cover and the appropriate
catalog reference number is affixed to the spine so that the item is
consistently re-shelved or refilled properly.

Inter-Library Loan Staff
Another behind-the-scenes person, or group of staff, you may not know
about are those who process your ILL requests. They locate items,
initiate the request to the other library, track its status, follow up
as required, and process the request when it is received. You may
receive a phone call or a postcard when the ILL item(s) arrive at your
library. This is a very time-consuming process, but it allows you to
extend your research reach and range to other libraries, both across
the country and around the world.

Collection Development Staff
Every library is faced with funding and space issues. Certainly they
cannot afford to purchase everything, nor could the library afford to
catalog and shelve every item. That is one reason that ILL is so
important, especially to genealogists.

Libraries do their best to be responsive to their patrons' requests and
needs. The collection development staff is responsible for evaluating
those needs based on a variety of criteria. Have you ever wondered why
you are asked not to re-shelve or replace items in the collection? The
library is collecting statistics on usage of specific items and
therefore groups of items. These statistics, along with specific
requests and recommendations by library personnel and patrons, are used
to develop a collection development budget and determine what items can
and cannot be ordered. Don't be surprised if you are from Connecticut
and visit a library in Muskogee, Oklahoma, that does not have The
Connecticut Nutmegger in its collection. There may simply not be the
demand for the library to subscribe to that publication because there
are few Connecticut researchers among its patrons. A subscription to
Ancestry Magazine may be a much better choice for the overall
genealogical patron popula!

Pages and Volunteers
Pages are not really professional librarians. Rather, they are charged
with re-shelving materials and/or with retrieving materials from
otherwise closed stacks of materials. Their service is invaluable too
because they are doing the legwork that allows the reference and
collection librarians to remain available to help you.

Volunteers from the community also are priceless, often performing
services for the library with which they are highly proficient. Let me
share two examples. First, in the library in Vero Beach, Florida, one
volunteer, with no genealogical experience or interest, volunteers
several days a week expressly to use a scanned to digitize rare or
fragile documents. The originals can be stored and preserved while
still providing access to the items. In the Freedom Branch of the
Marion County, Florida, Public Library, a retired gentleman volunteers
to teach Microsoft products to patrons one afternoon a week.

The IT Staff
Let's not forget the Information Technology (IT) staff whose
responsibility it is to set up and maintain the computer network, and
to repair or replace computers. Without their help, we might have
significant outages of catalog and Internet computers. Some of these
people travel many miles to branch libraries to keep the whole system
running smoothly.

Friends of the Library
Speaking of volunteers, Friends of the Library organization contribute
hundreds of hours and, in some cases, financial assistance to the
library or library system with which they have affiliated themselves.
They staff bookstores, host fund-raising events, give promotional talks
in the community, and provide strong support to the library. Some
libraries even have a chapter of Junior Friends of the Library, middle-
and high-school students who pitch in to help support their libraries.

You Never Know . . .
There are many people and activities that go into making a library
operate smoothly and provide the information clearing house on which we
all have come to rely. One week of the year to commemorate libraries
doesn't even begin cover our celebration of libraries and their
personnel. Give your librarians and staff members a gracious "thank
you" when you next visit. They will truly appreciate it!

Happy Hunting!

Since it's my profession, chosen late in life, but chosen, it's great to hear good stuff about it!


This man is an inspiration


The "dear reader" lady waxes poetical.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Living with Databases

I was just reading an old promotional piece, typewritten so I don't even know if it was ever used, about the l.W. Nixon Library. In it, the author pointed out that "On-line searches of information data bases nationwide are available to students at cost..." (Nov.2, 1990). Years earlier, a Jan. 24, 1986 article from The El Dorado Times, quoted Mrs. Waltman, the library supervisor, "The campus library now has the capability of doing computer research into more than 300 data bases in the nation."

Well, we've still got them. Of course, the library doesn't do the research, the students do. And the cost is no longer direct, but is folded into our budget. In fact we have many more databases, as they in turn got folded into enormous aggregators like EBSCO and ProQuest.

Currently we're looking at understanding what a federated database search tool would do for our students. It would mean you'd enter one keyword search and the search would be conducted across all of our subscription databases, rather than having to hop from one to another. Kind of like a google for the library.

Well, we are also looking at a trial for some new databases from Thompson-Gale:

Associations Unlimited
Biography and Genealogy Master Index
Biography Resource Center
Book Review Index Online Plus *
Business & Company Resource Center
Consulta (Spanish language)
Corbis Images for Education
Discovering Collection
Eighteenth Century Collections Online
Gale Virtual Reference Library (with xrefer plus)
Health & Wellness Resource Center
History Resource Center — U.S.
History Resource Center — World
Informe (Spanish language)
InfoTrac OneFile
InfoTrac Religion & Philosophy
Junior Reference Collection
Kids InfoBits
Literature Resource Center
LitFinder *
Military and Intelligence Database
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
Science Resource Center *
Student Resource Center
Testing & Education Reference Center
The Making of Modern Law *
Times Digital Archive
What Do I Read Next?
*Added to this year's collection

See if there's anything you like... but if you are in database overload, just wait a few months and I'll see what I can do for you.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Back in the Library

Hi, all,

I'm back home in the library today after a solid two weeks away at Library Conference. I'll be working today at catching up on signatures, phone messages, and about 200 emails that showed up while Judy and I were traveling home yesterday and Sunday afternoon.

I now have plenty of admiration for those who do convention blogging. It's a hard thing to conceive of finding time after (during?) hours and hours at programs, workshops, keynotes and conversations with fellow convention-goers. Not to mention meals and a few moments of nightlife! I even managed to get a couple of workouts in over the last week (after failing miserably the first week of convention). But to imagine writing a blog during all that, dealing with occasional wireless access and fatigue was beyond me.

I will share that the highlight for me was the google guy - one of the Seattle staff, a Hugh Grant look-a-like who came in Sunday morning to talk about google-scholar and the new digital projects. They certainly have vision, the google folks, and their development time is very fast (and probably measured in nanoseconds rather than the geologic time of some institutions, mine not included).

More later. Glad to be back. Singing off,


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Main Page - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Main Page - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Welcome to Wikipedia, a free-content encyclopedia that anyone can edit."

I'm starting to see articles in print about Wikipedia, which means I'm a little bit behind the times. There's a major controversy about this encyclopedia: everyone creates it, everyone edits it. So should it be considered authoritative? Reliable?

I'm going to poke around in a subject area I'm somewhat familiar with and draw conclusions. I invite you to do the same and respond here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

March eBook of the Month: "Why Men Earn More"

World-renowned gender issues expert confronts the gender pay gap and presents 25 ways for women to increase their earnings.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, women earn a mere 80 cents for every dollar men earn. Why, forty years after the Federal Equal Pay Act, do women still get paid less than the guys on the job? Why hasn’t the force of the feminist movement, affirmative action, and corporate lawsuits put an end to this injustice?

In the March eBook of the Month, world-renowned gender issues expert Warren Farrell, Ph.D. argues that bias-based unequal pay for women is largely a myth, and that women are most often paid less than men not because they are discriminated against, but because they have made lifestyle choices that affect their ability to earn. Beyond urging women to stop seeing themselves as victims of discrimination, Why Men Earn More presents 25 concrete, measurable ways for any woman to increase her pay.

NetLibrary's eBook of the Month is provided through the generous support of Amacom Books. Don't miss this frank look at workplace discrimination and the pay gap between the sexes.

Check it out through our Nixon Library Catalog.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Wired News: Library Shuffles Its Collection

Wired News: Library Shuffles Its Collection

Checking out a new iPod now applies to more than shopping trips or web browsing. This week the South Huntington Public Library on Long Island, New York, became one of the first public libraries in the country to loan out iPod shuffles. ...

...In addition, the library has the potential to save a great deal of money. Latini said that most titles on CDs cost the library around $75, whereas in MP3 format, they range from $15 to $25.

"In the end, obviously, we're literally saving money," he said. "The units are paying for themselves."

The library even throws in a cassette adapter and an FM transmitter for use in a car. Patrons do, however, have to provide their own headphones for sanitary reasons.

"I think it's a very clever use of the technology and I never thought about (using iPods for audio books) until I saw the sign at the library," Jacknow said.


What do you think? Would an academic library find use for such? We've only just invested in audio books on CD - a small collection. Do you use them? Would you be more likely to borrow an I-Pod?



Thursday, March 03, 2005

Woman's Day Magazine Contest puts you in the Library

This is kinda thrilling. I was looking for the current article about yesterday's online book club that's in Woman's Day's "Dare to Dream" column entitled "For the Love of Reading". But I got distracted by one of thier current contests, promoting family history and libraries in a unique way. Woman's Day Magazine

Discover Your Family History at the Library

In 700 words or fewer, let us know why you'd like to have the opportunity to research your family history with a genealogist and librarian. Why are you so interested in your roots? What does it mean to you? How do you think the library can help you discover your family history?

Email your entry to

Two readers will be chosen to be meet with a genealogist at their local library and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Woman’s Day.

Be sure to include your name, age, address and phone number.

Entry period: Feb. 5, 2005 - May 3, 2005 Noon ET

etc, etc. Check the page here.

Just thought it was cool... Our databases no longer cover Woman's Day (ProQuest did for a few years) but their website is pretty fully loaded for content.

Woman's Day and Family Circle have been some of my main reading over the years!

In 700 words or fewer, let us know why you'd like to have the opportunity to research your family history with a genealogist and librarian. Why are you so interested in your roots? What does it mean to you? How do you think the library can help you discover your family history?

Email your entry to

Two readers will be chosen to be meet with a genealogist at their local library and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Woman’s Day.

Population: One Plus 5,000 Volumes

Pop.: 1 Plus 5,000 Volumes

I started library work in 1993... well, I started school then. It was actually the fall of 1992 when I went to my daughters' new grade school in Waltham, MA, to volunteer for an hour a week just to see if I liked working in a library as much as I liked visiting one.

It was a delightful time, even when I had to make amends for the library book my #2 daughter left in a snowbank out of fear of the consequences of it being returned late. I've ever since been in favor of no fines, of making it easy to borrow, easy to return books and such. That's moved me into advocating a "Barnes&Noble" or club style library, even in the academic setting: a place to go that's not home or work or church that one can sit and read and learn and visit or just contemplate the world.

Now I must express my admiration for the town of Monowi, Nebraska and the work of Elsie Eiler, who runs "Rudy's Library." Full story here, and God bless you, Elsie!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005



Join a book club and every morning Suzanne Beecher sends you a portion of a book in your email. After you've read two or three chapters from a book, she'll start sending a new book portion. It's free and you can read at more than one club. Join today and start taking a five minute reading break every day.

And she has lots of clubs, from Nonfiction to Science Fiction, from Romance to Audio.

I've been at it a few months, and now know that I've seen some great books go by, and have a place to choose new fiction for the library from.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005 : FirstGov for Science - Government Science Portal : FirstGov for Science - Government Science Portal, the "go to" Web portal for federal science information, now provides a free and convenient "Alert" service that delivers information about the most current science developments right to desktops each Monday.
Launched at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Feb. 17-21, 2005) in Washington, D.C., the Alert Service provides weekly emails to those interested in science.

From the homepage (, individuals can set up an account and let do the searching for them. Each week, up to 25 relevant results from selected information sources will be sent to the subscriber's email account. Results are displayed in the Alert email and in a personalized Alert Archive, which stores six weeks of alerts results. In the Archive, past activity can be reviewed and Alert profiles edited.

Individuals can choose specific sources to monitor, or select the "All Sources" option. drills down into hard-to-find research information collections, spanning more than 47 million pages of government R&D results. More than 1,700 government information resources and 30 databases on a wide variety of scientific topics are available - all in one place and searchable with just one search tool.
Since its launch in 2002,, the science companion to FirstGov, has been the one-stop gateway to reliable federal science and technology information. allows individuals to search for information based on subject, rather than by government agency. is made possible by the Alliance, a collaboration of 12 federal agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services and the Interior, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Government Printing Office, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation, with support from the National Archives and Records Administration.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Kansas Traveler

Kansas Traveler
Kansas is an exciting, wonderful place to live and a fascinating place to visit. Kansas Traveler talks about tempting trips to take, unusual places to see and really weird and fun things Kansans are prone to do.

We're a quarterly print publication that's easy to read and carry along on your trips for reference or for just good armchair reading at home.

***I enjoyed the complete lyrics to the Kansas State song "Home on the Range" published in the last edition. It now holds pride of place on my refrigerator door.

We have a subscription to multiple copies of Kansas Traveler here at the library, so stop by and pick one up, or visit this website for your own subscription.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

New Database Trial: Oral History Online

Access to Oral History Online is completely free now through February 15. No passwords are required. Just go to But that's not all--you can win a chance at a free yearlong subscription to ANY Alexander Street product for your institution! Look at the 8 questions selected to help you explore the database--just answer those questions online, or fax in your answers, and you'll be entered in the drawing. Visit the contest page here (

Oral History Online is the first and only index to thousands of English-language oral history collections around the world. Users link directly to the narratives of individuals from all walks of life, from the 1930s to the present, from all over the world. Oral History Online provides in-depth indexing to more than 2,500 collections of oral history in English from around the world. The deep semantic indexing allows users to search more than 250,000 pages of full-text interviews with approximately 6,300 individuals from all walks of life. It also contains links to some 1,900 audio and video files and more 13,500 bibliographic records. Users can search the histories in new ways, including by interviewee’s name, occupation, and other details; by interviewer; by location; by date of interview; and using other criteria – through a newly created, fully controlled subject thesaurus.

“The personal narratives are drawn from repositories around the world and relate to virtually every area of research,” said Eileen Lawrence, Vice President for Sales and Marketing. “From 11 full-text interviews in 1930 of people who remember Crazy Horse, to the 2004 audio and video interviews of Karl Lyon in the ‘Oral History of the Holocaust’ project, users will find history come alive through these voices.”

One winner will be drawn from all correct entries received in Alexander Street offices by the end of the promotion. The winner will be announced on March 1, 2005.

Please contact your sales representative if you have any questions, or drop me a line and I will get you in touch with your sales rep!

Best regards,


Helen Thompson, Marketing and Public Relations Manager
800-889-5937 ext. 5 (U.S. and Canada)
703-212-7995 (local and international)
Alexander Street Press, LLC
3212 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Monday, January 31, 2005

NetLibrary eBook of the month

The Muslim World after 9/11
A groundbreaking examination of the major dynamics driving changes in the religio-political landscape of the Muslim world

Momentous events since September 11, 2001—Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the global war on terrorism, and the ongoing war in Iraq—have dramatically altered the political environment in the Muslim world. Many of the forces influencing this environment, however, are the products of trends that have been at work for decades.

In February's eBook of the Month, the authors of The Muslim World After 9/11, examine the major dynamics driving changes in the religious-political landscape of the Muslim world—a vast and diverse region that stretches from Western Africa through the Middle East to the Southern Philippines and includes Muslim communities and diasporas throughout the world—and draws the implications of these dynamics for global security and U.S. and Western interests.

NetLibrary's eBook of the Month is provided through the generous support of the Rand Corporation.

Butler owns a thousand eBooks, and provides access to several thousand more owned by the state vial the KS Library Card. Sign up for the card in person here at the Nixon library, or at any Kansas Library to borrow e-books or read magazine/journal articles online.

Book Sample

Sample "French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For
Pleasure," by Mireille Guiliano: fren1

I've ordered this for the library as my last "January - Get Fit" purchase. When I was in Paris in 2000, I found the fitness of the citizenry quite remarkable. Here's to chocolat y vin!

Friday, January 28, 2005

LexisNexis Academic & Library Solutions

LexisNexis Academic & Library Solutions

Butler owns access to LexisNexis, and this newsletter gives you some of the latest news, such as the addition of "The Sacramento Bee" newspaper from 1991-on to the collection. Also see the introduction to the CIS Index -- your roadmap through U.S. Congressional Research.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

RSS in your life

Does no one really know what "RSS" stands for in the blogging world? On Steven M. Cohen's site this morning there was a reference to "really simple syndication."

Other meanings for the acronym:

real simple syndication
rich site summary
RFD Site summary

Then we get this comment a lot:
The meaning of the acronym is not terribly important, however. An RSS feed (also known as a news feed) is a site's syndicated news feed that you subscribe to using your news reader.

As an English major and a librarian, I'd like to see the acronym take on a fixed meaning. It won't of course, for a few years, and we'll be dealing with Library of Congress subject updates in our catalogs.

It seems clear to me that "site syndication" is the most complete meaning of the "SS" part of the RSS.

As to the "R" part, the trouble seems to be in finding an adjective to modify "site syndication." But come on, folks: "Really" "Real" and "RFD"?

I'll offer a word that comes from court reporting and News captioning and seems particularly fitting. "Realtime" as in "Realtime Site Syndication."
I like it because it adds to the description as a modifier, rather than creating a mere superlative or confusing with another acronym.

Realtime Site Syndication: RSS. Says it for me.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The New York Times > Technology > Free Speech, or Secrets From Apple?

The New York Times > Technology > Free Speech, or Secrets From Apple?

Free Speech, or Secrets From Apple?

Published: January 11, 2005

gainst the backdrop of the Macworld Exposition in San Francisco this week, a series of legal actions filed by Apple Computer over the last month highlights the difficulties of defining who is a journalist in the age of the Web log.

As part of a lawsuit filed by Apple in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Dec. 13, the company obtained a court order allowing it to issue subpoenas to, and The three Web sites published or linked to information on what they said was a future Apple audio device that was code-named "Asteroid." The subpoenas are aimed at getting the operators of those sites to disclose the sources of the information that was reportedly leaked.


An attorney representing AppleInsider and PowerPage asserted that bloggers ought to be extended the same protections as mainstream journalists, who have traditionally been given some latitude by the courts in protecting the identities of confidential sources.

"Bloggers are becoming a more and more critical source of news," said Kurt Opsahl, the lawyer representing the two sites and a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group based in California. "A lot of confidential tips first start out on the blogs before being picked up in the mainstream media."

Monday, January 10, 2005

Library Dust: North in the Rain

Library Dust: North in the Rain: "Last night I was driving my truck along the railroad tracks in a rainstorm when the gas gauge bottomed out. I pulled into a service station and was fumbling for my wallet when I saw a figure pass through the watery blur of the windshield. The man walked over and tapped the glass. I rolled down the window and looked into a sad, dark pair of eyes beneath an old felt hat that had spent a lot of its life in the rain.
The man said, 'No use you getting out in this. Say what you need and I'll pump her.'"

(Story continues...from blog: Library Dust
A small gift to the library world from Michael McGrorty

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Carpeting Update

Just prior to Christmas, all was well, going according to plan. The students stuck around to help us with some painting for a week in areas that weren't newly carpeted. Bless them! The back room and the lab were actually 3.5 days ahead of schedule, the reupholstery job was getting picked up on time, and the architect had supplied the new floor plan design.

Then, oops.

The truck from KCI was full so they couldn't pick up the sectional couch for its re-upholstery, so that got put off until Jan. 5. I haven't checked on delivery date for that yet. But, oh, well.


We were notified on Monday Dec. 20, the week the main floor carpet was due to arrive, that the manufacturer had neglected to put it in the queue... so it was not to arrive until a month later. Ha! So our carpet contractor got on the phone with the president of the company. They said it was human error. They offered different carpet... but you know, it just wasn't as good looking as our original. Then they offered a different backing, which I accepted. And moved our carpet to the front of the line, starting Jan. 3rd, when they got back after the Christmas break. So we get it at the end of this week instead.

Fortunately (I believe in prayer) the book stack movers were able to wait a week to come, and will be here next week instead of this week. Also, our elevator, which is getting the hydraulic lift replaced, should be working again. Too, the carpet backing is the cheaper, so that should save some money. The bright side... I'm hoping it all goes according to the "adjusted" plan now.

Meanwhile, we have no offices at all in the library... where the new carpet is down, we have piled up everything else, so as to leave just the bookstacks on the floor. Oh, wait, I guess Ronda's office is up and running. 1 out of 7! So I'm working at home today (brought my computer home).

More later.